An Apparatus for Improving Upper Limb Function by Engaging Synchronous Tongue Motion
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Studies of neuroplasticity indicate that areas of the brain not injured by stroke are able to reorganize neural pathways when actively engaged. We have combined two advanced technologies, a robotic hand therapy device and a control system driven by tongue movements, to determine the effects of the wearable Tongue Drive System paired with the Hand Mentor therapeutic robot (TDS-HM) on improving upper extremity motor functions in stroke survivors with severe hemiparesis. For this pilot study, a TDS-HM prototype was constructed and evaluated by three able-bodied subjects with a set of graphical user interfaces. The tongue movements were translated to wrist motion based on three control modes: discrete (CDC), semi-proportional (DPC), and proportional (RPC). Preliminary results showed that the TDS-HM worked reliably with all three control modes, and three healthy subjects showed average RMS deviations of 7.09 ± 1.09, 6.19 ± 1.41, and 7.06 ± 1.78 degrees from a given sinusoidal target path in these modes, respectively. They also played three flash games using the TDS-HM in the three control modes, and achieved on average, 59.4% of their scores when using keypad and mouse. © 2013 IEEE.
author list (cited authors)
Kim, J., Bulach, C., Richards, K. M., Wu, D., Butler, A. J., & Ghovanloo, M.